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Commonwealth Academy earns governor’s award

Commonwealth Charter Academy, Pennsylvania’s largest K through 12 public cyber charter school, was recognized by the Wolf administration as one of 13 entities across the state to receive the 2021 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its AgWorks at CCA facility at its Capital Campus in Harrisburg.

CCA’s President and CEO Thomas D. Longenecker said, “This award not only highlights the great work of CCA as a school, but it also represents the countless hours of our students and staff who were and are committed to creating, managing, and sustaining AgWorks at CCA. Congratulations to the CCA community.”

As part of the CCAWorks initiative, which is focused on preparing students for postsecondary success, AgWorks at CCA is an indoor, closed-loop, soilless, 6,100-square-foot growing system that uses nearly 95 percent less water than a traditional, outdoor farm.

Powered by 1,050 roof-mounted solar panels, the facility produced more than 422 megawatt-hours in 2020. The energy generated and not used by AgWorks at CCA supplements electrical power at Capital Campus, reducing its reliance on traditional sources of electricity.

AgWorks at CCA was created to teach students about aquaponics, hydroponics, and aeroponics as sustainable ways to decrease waste, protect the environment, and reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture.

Not only does AgWorks at CCA focus on agriculture, but it also serves as a catalyst to train and prepare students for careers in plumbing, heating, HVAC, supply chain management, business, engineering, data analysis, information technology, and art and design.